It makes a certain kind of sense that “Weird Al” Yankovic would perform last night at the Emmy Awards, rather than Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards. Sure, the master parodist could once be seen doing his best Michael Jackson impression on MTV, but these days in the music realm, he’s virtually one of a kind. TV, on the other hand, has been a natural venue for spoofy songs, from Saturday Night Live‘s “Lazy Sunday” and “Dick in a Box” to Jimmy Fallon’s late-night Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young impressions. That those TV clips went viral online only underscores the connection to Yankovic, whose video onslaught on behalf of new record Mandatory Fun helped him score his first-ever No. 1 album. Beyoncé rode a “surfbort” to the top of the charts, too, but that aside, one thing the VMA royal is not is a humorist.
At the Emmys, Yankovic and backup dancers did a wonderful medley parodying various nominated shows’ themes. He started with Mad Men, singing, “Mad Men, Mad Men, watching these ad men do their thinking while they’re stinking drunk,” and “John Hamm’s never won an Emmy oh who cares he’s still Jon freaking Hamm.” For Scandal, he sent up the Kerry Washington character’s lip-quivering romance with the president; for Homeland, he called back to star Mandy Patinkin’s The Princess Bride character, observing, “Inigo Montoya grew a beard.” The climactic moment came with Game of Thrones, when they (this is a spoiler) presented author George R.R. Martin with a typewriter — to be fair, though, it’s tough to beat South Park‘s wiener-oriented Thrones theme spoof. This is all familiar territory to “Weird Al,” anyway: He once did something similar over the closing credits to 30 Rock. If the man can’t perform at the Super Bowl, then at least give him an Emmy.
Oh, and Gwen Stefani had a hard time saying the name of Stephen Colbert’s show.